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Pressure government to fund universities, ASUU tells parents

The striking Academic Staff Union of Universities has rejected the proposed payment of N10,000 per session by each parent to help the Federal Government make more funds available for universities.

NAPTAN’s public relations officer, dr. Ademola Ekundayo, in an interview with The PUNCH, said: “We are proposing an amount of N10,000 per parent before each session which will be paid directly to the universities. This will be our own contribution, apart from other statutory payments, to make more funds available to the universities.”

The ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, however, reacted to the proposed levy on Thursday while speaking in an interview on Arise Television, where he said the parents should intervene by joining the body in mounting pressure on the top government.

Osodeke said: “I think what this association should do is to tell the government to carry out its functions. They should put pressure on the government to use Nigerians’ money to fund education as it is done in other countries.

“They must contribute to the pressure coming from ASUU to ensure that the government prioritizes education. It is more significant than the N10,000.”

NAAT suspends strike
Meanwhile, the National Association of Academic Technologists announced Thursday the suspension of its 158-day strike.

The union’s president, Ibeji Nwokoma, disclosed this at a press briefing held at the national secretariat of the union at the University of Abuja.

“We have suspended the strike, but we are appealing to the government to pay the arrears of our salaries,” said Nwokoma.

The union, like other unions in universities, blamed the “failure” of the government to honor the 2009 agreement made between the Federal Government and the unions.

NANS condemns ASUU
The National Union of Nigerian Students has condemned ASUU’s insistence on the payment of six months salary for the strike period before its members end their ongoing strike.

The association’s president. Sunday Ashefon, made his position known in a statement made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti titled, “Six months salary arrears: ASUU’s insistence is selfish, inconsiderate, insensitive.”

The students also appealed to state governors to ensure the opening of state-owned universities.

Ashefon said the claim “is not only insensitive; it is also selfish, inconsiderate and unmerciful. The six months are periods of no work. As much as we encourage the government to pay their arrears regardless, it is unfair to base the resumption of academic activities on full payment of the arrears.”

He added: “We are calling on all the state governors to ensure that all our state universities are now open because they will not be beneficiaries of ASUU’s demand from the Federal Government as governors are responsible for the establishment of the state universities .”

Minister radiates
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, is said to be currently out of the country as the ASUU strike continues.

Adamu is in charge of negotiations between the Federal Government and striking university unions.

However, a source close to the minister, who did not want his name in print due to the sensitive nature of the matter, said Adamu is expected back in the country on September 2.

The ministry’s spokesperson, Ben Goong, did not immediately respond to inquiries by The PUNCH about the details of the minister’s travels.

The PUNCH reports that ASUU has on Monday February 14, 2022 announced the commencement of an indefinite strike at the University of Lagos.

In an attempt to end the strike, the Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, led conciliatory meetings between the union and the government.

However, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), some weeks ago directed Adamu to take over negotiations.

Adamu recently noted during a press briefing that the government would not pay the union for the months it did not work and the union however remained adamant.

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